A PRIVATE JET ‘TOUR DE FRANCE’
France is the biggest private aviation market in Europe. With almost 120,000 aircraft movements in 2013, it is ahead of Germany at no.2 and the UK at no.3.
To celebrate the start of the Tour De France, PrivateFly presents the ‘Tour De France’ by private jet (rather than by road bike): The top 10 most popular private jet destinations around the country.
Some of these are locations with specific business aviation airports. These see significant levels of private aircraft traffic every month, for both business and leisure travel. Others are airports which experience a notable seasonal boost, based on major events or seasonal uplift.
Here we profile the Top 10 private jet destinations in France.
1) PARIS LE BOURGET BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 3776
Paris Le Bourget is not only the busiest private jet airport in France; but in the whole of Europe. Dedicated to business aviation, the airport serves the business community in Paris – one of Europe’s most important business hubs, hosting the international headquarters of many major corporations.
Leisure flights in and out of the capital for VIPs and luxury tourism also play their part. Paris is the second most visited city in the world, and is home to many VIPs and high net worths.
Private flights to and from Le Bourget see a peak around high profile events, such as Paris Fashion Week or the Roland Garros French Open Tennis.
Read more: Inside Europe’s busiest private jet airport – Paris Le Bourget
Private jet prices to Paris Le Bourget:
London - Paris Le Bourget from £2,983 in a Citation Mustang (one way), seating 4.
2) NICE CÔTE D'AZUR BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 2850
Nice Côte D’Azur airport is the second most popular private jet destination in France, and also serves an international clientele as a major international airport.
Nice has a separate terminal, dedicated to business aviation. And while it has a base level of activity year-round, it sees a major seasonal uplift in spring and summer. The volumes are highest during late May, when the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix take place. Nearly 256 private jet flights took place on Friday May 23, 2014, for the closing of the Festival and arrivals for the Formula 1 event.
A number of high net worth Europeans and other international VIPs have second properties in the region - and use private aviation into Nice Côte d'Azur for their travel. Nice Côte d'Azur was voted The World's Most Stunning Airport approach in our recent PrivateFly poll.
The airport’s large runway allows any size of aircraft to land there so it is the best airport for those travelling in larger aircraft such as a Gulfstream G650 or converted airliner – over nearby Cannes Mandelieu (see below).
Private jet prices to Nice Côte d'Azur:
London - Nice Côte D'Azur from £7,100 in a Embraer Phenom 100 (one way), seating 4.
3) CANNES MANDELIEU BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 1188
Cannes may be a small city (it has less than 75,000 inhabitants) but its exclusive private jet airport, Cannes Mandelieu, is a major landing spot for private jets.
Of course, like Nice, it is used for VIPs and luxury leisure travellers for the summer season peak and events on the Cote D’Azur, particularly the Cannes Film Festival. Nice is a bigger 24-hour airport and handles more of the traffic for the festival (71% versus 29% at Cannes).
But Cannes is very discreet, which can make it very attractive to those with a high profile, who prefer to travel unnoticed.
Cannes also has strong associations with the property industry, with many commercial and private investors having properties in the area. The city plays host to the annual real estate exhibition MIPIM in March each year, which attracts property investors from all over the world – many of whom who use private jets to get there.
Private jet prices to Cannes Mandelieu:
London – Cannes Mandelieu from £6,370 in a Citation Mustang (one way), seating 4.
4) BASEL-MULHOUSE-FREIBURG BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 744
Not just a French airport, EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiberg (to give it its full name) is actually situated on the border of France, Switzerland and Germany. It is one of the few airports in the world to cross international boundaries.
The airport sees its annual peak during the Art Basel event in June – which attracts some of the most prominent VIP figures in the art world. Last year there were 123 daily private jet flights on average, versus just 18 per day for the rest of the year.
The area is also a strategic location for MEPs and other dignitaries attending the monthly sessions of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
Private jet prices to Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg:
London – Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg from £7,455 in a Learjet 40 (one way), seating 6.
5) TOUSSUS-LE-NOBLE BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 688
Close to the prestigious golf area of St Quentin and only 6 kilometres from the Château de Versailles, Toussus-Le-Noble is an exclusive private jet airport, in the western outer reaches of Paris.
Many French governmental aircraft are based at the airport and so it is the most widely-used Paris airport for government travel.
The local area is also popular with senior Paris business people who settle in this part of the Yvelines department – a premier commuting spot to avoid the congestion of the city centre.
Private jet prices to Toussus-Le-Noble:
Nice Cote'D'Azur – Toussus-Le-Noble from £4,390 in a Citation Mustang (one way), seating 4.
6) LYON BRON BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 561
After Paris, Lyon is the most important economic centre in France and therefore has its own dedicated business aviation airport, Lyon Bron.
The airport is popular with business aviation users from the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries – for which Lyon is the French centre. And more recently is seeing an increase in business flights for locally-based successful technology companies, and a thriving start-up sector.
Lyon is also home to major international organisations such as Interpol, Sanofi Pasteur, Merial, bioMérieux, Genzyme, Merck Serono and Mylan - to name a few.
Private jet prices to Lyon Bron:
London – Lyon Bron from £8,300 in a Citation XL (one way), seating 8.
7) CHAMBÉRY-AIX-LES-BAINS BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 423
The small airport of Chambéry-Aix-Les-Bains in the Savoie region, gives direct access to Les Trois Vallees – the ski area containing the most prestigious and popular French ski resorts, including Courchevel and Meribel The area is very popular in the winter months with wealthy French skiers, but also luxury travellers from Russia, Scandinavia and the UK. Some of whom have second homes in the area.
Chambery’s private jet traffic is very seasonal, with the busiest month being March. But there is also some flight activity in the summer months. Many sports teams (including football clubs) use the area for their summer training.
Private jet prices to Chambéry-Aix-Les-Bains:
London – Chambéry-Aix-Les-Bains from £5,035 in a Citation Mustang (one way), seating 4.
8) TOULON-HYÈRES BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 398
After Nice and Cannes, Toulon-Hyères (also known as Hyères Le Palyvestre Airport) is the third French Riviera airport in the top 10.
The extreme popularity of the South of France in the summer months can mean private jet take-off and landing slots are hard to secure at peak times, so Toulon is often used as an ‘overflow’ airport for aircraft coming into the area for holidays and events.
The airport is popular with those heading to St Tropez and Ramatuelle to stay in their second homes or to sail.
Private jet prices to Toulon Hyères Le Palyvestre:
London - Toulon-Hyères from £7,276 in a Embraer Phenom 100 (one way), seating 4.
9) BORDEAUX MERIGNAC BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 390
Known as the wine capital of the world, many of Bordeaux’s private jet users are connected to the wine industry – whether through business or visiting the area’s vineyards.
The airport is also conveniently located for Arcachon and Cap Ferret, popular property investment hotspots and areas popular with wealthy travellers and for horse-racing.
The airport also sees growing business aviation demand from the city’s technology sector – including France’s biggest Aerospace technology centre.
Private jet prices to Bordeaux Merignac:
London – Bordeaux Merignac from £4,880 in a Citation Mustang (one way), seating 4.
10) FIGARI SUD CORSE BY PRIVATE JET
Average private jet flights per month: 312
The French-owned island of Corsica is a summer hotspot for Europe’s wealthy travellers.
Figari Sud Corse airport is the most popular with private jet users visiting the island, since it is located just a few kilometres from the luxury resort of Porto-Vecchio.
The VIP resort attracts high profile visitors and wealthy families from Paris and other areas of France. It a favourite of other European elite travellers, including many Russian billionaires. Private jet travel in Corsica is popular with those connecting with private yacht charters.
Private jet prices to Figari Sud Corse:
London – Figari Sud Corse from £7,653 in a Citation Mustang (one way), seating 4.